More studies are using randomized controlled trials to look at the relationship between yoga and depression. Randomized controlled trials are the best ways to verify study results. According to the Harvard Mental Health Letter, recent studies suggest that yoga can:
- reduce the impact of stress
- help with anxiety and depression
- be a self-soothing technique similar to meditation, relaxation, and exercise
- improve energy
Yoga is a physical exercise that involves different body poses, breathing techniques, and meditation. The therapy may help with depression and your symptoms, such as difficulty concentrating or loss of energy.
Many people use yoga therapy to manage:
- mental and emotional problems, such as stress, anxiety, or depression
- conditions and disorders, such as ongoing low back pain
- chronic or long-term pain
- overall health and well-being
You can find yoga classes at fitness studios, hospitals, and local community centers. The classes can be gentle or challenging, depending on the style.
To reduce stress and anxiety
Yoga also increases your heart rate variability (HRV), or change in time between heart beats, by increasing the relaxation response over the stress response in the body. A high HRV means that your body is better at self-monitoring or adapting, particularly to stress.
Yoga can also:
- reduce resting heart rate
- lower blood pressure
- ease breathing
- increase pain tolerance
One study, according to Harvard Mental Health, found that people who were more stressed had a lower pain tolerance.
Studies show that yoga therapy can help with stress, anxiety, and depression. Yoga is a gentle exercise that incorporates both meditation and controlled, physical movements. The focus on deep breathing and stretching your body is effective for relieving the symptoms of depression, such as sleep troubles, pain, and a loss of energy.
No matter which style of yoga you choose, you can adapt the poses to suit your level.